I'm building an Online Food Ordering website, where users can order food from their favourite restaurants. I'm confused in selecting the colors for the website, can any one help me with it.

  1. Which colors should I use for website background or should I put delicious food images?
  2. Which colors to use for the text?

I have read some article that Red, Green, Oranges are good options for food related websites.


Which colors should I use for website background or should I put delicious food images?

The answers to this question finally enlightened me why so many food sites go for that red & white design. Personally, I'm finding it quite boring, and I go to view a menu when I want to eat anyway so they don't need to bait me into becoming hungry.

Don't put so many food pictures that people have to scroll down to get the actual content they came for (available menu items). I suggest having the menu visible 'above the fold' with images displayed at the sides (e.g. menu could be left half of screen, or center of screen with images on either side).

Also have separate menu sections with links at the top to go directly to each - many websites have this so that a visitor can directly check out the lunch menu, or look at chicken dishes, etc.

Which colors to use for the text?

Use color coding to distinguish attributes of the menu and make it easier for customers to focus on their culinary choices.

By convention, green is usually associated with vegetarian or vegan choices and red for meat. Those menus which indicate allergens (peanuts being most common) usually do so with small icons next to the text, such as a tiny peanut symbol.

The description text is often a shade of gray (dark on light/white background, or silver/lightgray on a dark background).

One of the problems you may face if you choose to do color coding, is getting that info correctly from your data feed - after all, picky users would love a properly annotated menu to find things they can eat, but for a site aggregating multiple 3rd party menus its unlikely to get entries with all these details.


Your best friend: https://kuler.adobe.com/food-art-colors/

You can search color pallets via keywords such as the one I have placed in the URL strand above.


There is a lot of study on the subject of food and colour, it turns out that colour has a very strong effect on how we perceive food. Some choice examples from this research:

Test subjects will judge a liquid based on it's colour, even when the actual flavour dose not match up. A classic 80s experiment switched lime and cherry which a result that confused many test subjects. I'm sure this was repeated on terrestrial TV in the UK recently with even more startling results, though the link eludes me.

In another, coloured lights were shined on food so it looked normal, but when the food was shown under normal lights it's colour upset people - in this case the food was blue, a colour that does not occur in food often. So probably best not to use blue (in fact, have you seen a blue food website?)

Some more can be found here, with leads into some of the other experiements conducted:



For starters, I recommend looking at the answers to this question, which colors make you hungry as that can give you some inputs about what colors to for your site assuming you already dont have a defined branding guideline in place.

With regards to whether you should use color or pictures, that would eventually depend on the the design of the site but since the objective of your site is to allow users to order from online restaurants,your objective is to get them excited and hungry. Research has shown that pictures of food do make people hungry as quoted in this study

Max Planck researchers have proven something scientifically for the first time that laypeople have always known: the mere sight of delicious food stimulates the appetite. A study on healthy young men has documented that the amount of the neurosecretory protein hormone ghrelin in the blood increases as a result of visual stimulation through images of food.

The combination of pictures and colors can help you come up with a design which should be focussed on informing users about the choices available and the primary call to action. Here are some good examples of sites who do it well by both using colors and pictures well.

Seattle - Eat 24 hours

enter image description here

Food panda

enter image description here

Quick Burp

enter image description here

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.